What worked for us. Hope this helps.

(733 Posts)
nectarina Sun 29-Jan-12 21:03:49

This post is going to be massive - no apologies however.

So I've posted at least 5 queries about DD's sleep and read about 1 billion threads, because DD only napped for 30mins  in the day, would only BF to sleep (since a newborn I wanted to get out of the habit, but nothing else did it). She spent  the first 5 months in her cot, only for us to end up co-sleeping so we could get a bit of rest. She would BF every 2 hours at  least in the night, and by the end she'd wake every half hour before we went to bed. I knew I couldn't do CC/CIO, I'm not  strong enough even if I thought that was the right thing to do, but I thought that I would be forced to if things carried on  the way they were.

We read No Cry Sleep Solution, which is complicated and didn't work for us.

So a friend had tried a technique, that she recommended and I thought that it was too much of a leap for DD, but i kept  the email, and one evening I sort of snapped and decided that IT WAS TIME. DD was  8 1/2months. I don't know from  what age this technique is recommended, but I don't think I'd have wanted to do this earlier, as you still have to cope with  the baby crying. I knew DD was ready because now she quite clearly has two cries - one properly sad and scared, the  other a bit shouty and put on, so when doing this technique you know what's going on (but I'd like to add that I still  comforted DD when she was shouty - she's still trying to say something, but I deÞ nitely wouldn't pick her up and panic!)

 I'll paste her email to me, hoping she won't mind. We didn't do it in the ten days, as it was just a bit too much, but i wonder if the way we did it made things a bit complicated. So I recommend doing it as laid out.  

But now DD takes 20mins to fall asleep by herself (with one of us in her room) in her cot, in her room. and I do not feed at  all between 7pm and 7am. Dh goes in in the night and he gives her water in case she's thirsty but she's quite happy  without. It takes him no more than about 3mins to resettle her (unless ill).

After starting this at the beginning of January  she still wakes up once or twice a night but it doesn't affect me as I wear earplugs and DH goes in! ha ha ha! (I still hear  her and wake up, but I don't wake up fully and find it difFicult to go back to sleep) Do I need to tell you how I feel like a  different woman?

So here's the email -  

^"Ok, this is a plan thing that we first tried with dc1 when we got to the point where we knew something had to change. There seems to come a point where not only do you get tired of 'helping' your baby get to sleep, but whatever you do seems to work less and less - as if they know something has to change too! It takes a bit of work for about ten days or so but mostly the first couple of days you really put your back into it and then it gets easier. I remember vaguely doing it with dc1 and have just rediscovered it with Dc2 she is a bit of a firecracker so I was expecting trouble but babies love to learn something new, especially around this age and she only woke once last night despite having a cold, which is a HUGE improvement. Dc1 found this very easy and never shed a tear. Dc2 screamed 'TRAITOR!!' at me many times during the first night (she does that a lot), so I'm not saying that there won't be some crying because you will be doing something different to before but you don't have to leave her side and can reassure her as much as you need to, physically and verbally. 
The idea is that you are no longer going to help her go to sleep - in whatever way - if you rock her, feed her, jiggle her, whatever it is. You can be there and reassure her but it is no longer your job to MAKE her go to sleep. It is your job to support her whilst she does it herself. 
First of all, you know that thing that everyone says about having a bedtime routine (which I imagine you already have) is utterly true. By the time they are a toddler, the sound of a running bath is enough to set the bedtime clock going. When you choose to do this thing, it is really important to stick to your bedtime routine without fail for the ten days and it needs to be between 20 and 45 minutes long. Also, this plan also applies to naps, so you need to be able to be at home for naptimes - just until Dd has the thing established - ten days usually does it. Lastly, you are aiming for Dd to be in bed by 7ish in the evening and not much later. If you're like me you're knackered by about half four, so starting bedtime at a quarter past six is no trouble. You've probably done all that so on to the plan. I'll do bedtimes first and then naps. 

Day 1, 2 and 3 - Place a chair right next to the cot. Make it a comfortable chair, you may get to know it fairly well. Have a duvet, cushions, iphone, book to hand. Do your bedtime routine and put Dd in the cot awake. She may well not know what to do next and try all sorts of things. If she stands up you can gently pop her back down again but only a few times - if she insists on standing for a bit then let her - it may just be one of those things she incorporates into her own burgeoning routine, and I daresay she is capable of getting back down again by now. You can pat the bed to let her know you want her to lie down. Sooner or later she is likely to sit down for a bit and eventually plop on to her front. She has to find her own way through this so she may try eating her blanket or playing with a toy before she lies down - that's up to her. If she cries, you can pat her and speak to her. As long as you remember that your patting and comforting is not there to get her to sleep, just to help her calm down in this new and confusing situation so as soon as she starts to settle, lighten your touch with a view to taking your hand off her, and stop speaking. She may go back and forth a bit needing you to touch and speak to her a few more times, but each time lessen your touch when she has settled. Stay there until she has fallen fast asleep and creep out. This bit can take ten minutes for some babies, but most fall asleep after 45 minutes. Two hours is the longest on record! I expected Dc2 to be a two hour effort but no - 45 minutes almost exactly. As long as you know that it is going to take that long, you can get through it. When she wakes up in the night, you do exactly the same thing, each and every time. The first few times she wakes, she will probably yell for you, but as she gets the idea that she can drift back to sleep herself, she may just squeak and go back (sounds unlikely? I thought that too.) The idea is that as time goes on you can wait a tiny bit longer before you go in, to give her the opportunity to practise her new skill.

Days 4, 5 and 6 - move the chair a few feet away from the cot. Keep everything else the same except you are further away. Once you have had your bedtime cuddle and put her in the cot sit down. You can still go to her if she really needs you, and you can still speak to her but she may not need as much help by now. Again, wait until she is asleep before you leave. Repeat as often as necessary when she wakes although, again, leave it a few minutes before you go in.

Days 7, 8 and 9 - move the chair to the door or the other side of the room. Make sure she can still see you, but once you have settled her in her cot and gone to the chair try not to go to her unless she has got herself into a daft position and can't get out. By now she will start developing her own strategy to get to sleep, and you will be able to tell what stage she is at, because you've been watching it all the way through.

Day 10 - you have several choices. If you think things are going really well and baby can cope with you not being there  you can leave the room and see how she gets on. You can hover by the door out of sight and watch what happens, and  reassure her with your voice. If you feel apprehensive about it and think she needs longer you can try the Bustle -  instead of sitting down, tinker about in her room, cleaning up or folding washing or whatever. Or you can continue in the  chair.  The idea of the plan is ultimately for you to be able to plonk and go, but I quite like spending that extra time with DC so I  use a mixture of the bustle and the chair. For night wakings you now really have to give her the chance to go back on her  own. Wait ten minutes ( I know - such a long time!) before you go in.  I got up last night to Þ nd by the time I got to DC's  door, she'd already curled up again! That's the main brunt of it. Just bear in mind that the first couple of nights are the worst - she might wake more frequently,  but stick at it and you'll see an improvement. The other thing is that when they start sleeping longer in the night they get  up properly a bit too early in the morning - but this usually improves over a few weeks as they get the hang of sleeping.  I've kind of assumed that you are going to move her into her own room - there's no reason you can't start this as soon as  you move her in. If DC get ill and it disrupts her sleep, go back to whichever stage in the plan you think works best. You can sleep in her  room if you want to keep an eye on her, but don't bring her in with you.

Naps - Do the same for naps as you do at night times only you can't sit there for as long as it takes - give it an hour and if  she hasn't gone to sleep, get her up and feed her or do something different and try again a bit later. If she resists  napping like this twice in a day you can resort to taking her out in the buggy or something. just so she gets a bit of sleep  in the day. You are aiming at two solid naps a day by the way. If you've started this thing at bedtime the night before, the  nap thing is usually not a problem.  I can't think of anything else right now! By the way this is based on a Canadian lady's idea. I chose to use it because it  doesn't mean leaving a baby to cry. They learn to fall asleep without you intervening, although you might argue that your  presence is a sort of intervention, but before long you will find yourself saying goodnight and shutting the door, because  she'd not taking any notice of you anymore!" ^

So for us the First night it took 3 hours 10mins, which is why for nightwakings later on that night I just fed her instead of  sitting with her. Within the first few nights she woke LOADS less and then DH would go to her and he would just ask her  to put her head down and she would and go straight back to sleep. Needless to say that sort of thing just wouldn't  happen before. So if I remember rightly it was only after 4 or 5 nights that I stopped feeding her. The other thing we've  found a bit hard is waiting a few mins before going in to her when she wakes. We just give it one or two minutes more  than we'd usually do instead of waiting 10.  

DH would like to add that he thinks the important thing is to teach DC to put their head down and close their eyes - he  says' put your head down, put your head down, now close your eyes' and repeats it a bit like a mantra gently until DD  does, and then stops as soon as she does what he says. He says for our 9month old that after a week she knows what it  means and does what he suggests! He says that this is useful in the night and that's all he needs to do to get her to go back to sleep.

For the first night I recommend a large glass of wine that you take in with you. For the second night, have  the bottle waiting for you on the table in the lounge. Also on the first night we both did it together for a bit of moral  support and took it in turns but I'm assuming that none of you is as much as a wimp as I am.

I hope this isn't too much of a mess, my friend's writing is very clear, and mine is all over the shop. I'm just a bit  enthusiastic about how its gone. I hope this is of use to someone.

Millipede170 Sun 26-Feb-17 16:15:04

Ha ha funnily enough my boobs were fine - little monkey hasn't really been taking any milk in the night for ages, just comfort nursing. I guess that's another way you know it's ok to night wean!!

The 4 or 5am wakeups are so tricky - almost impossible to resettle without the boob if your DS is anything like mine, just too awake. Those are the ones I'm going to tackle last 🐔

Hope you have a good night!

scottishbride Sun 26-Feb-17 15:20:46

Wow, that does sound like an amazing night! Hope you managed to get some sleep!
And how.were your boobs on the morning without feeding? The first time ds slept till 1am I thought I might explode 😃
Last night he went down at 7 and apparently woke twice before 120 and dh did pick up put down at those times but thought he needed feeding at 120, and he did take both sides then slept till 5. At 5 I fed him back to sleep but probably should have tried settling him without cos he only went till 630 and woke tired - I think his normal wake up time should be about half 7 cos when he wakes then he just chats to himself in his cot for a bit.
Good luck tonight 😴😴

Millipede170 Sun 26-Feb-17 14:49:02

Hi scottish (and anyone else reading)

So last night he woke at the same times - 2230 and 0130. First time I turned him on his side and patted him briefly again, then for wakeup #2 I (controversially) put him on his front and stroked his back til he got comfortable then left him to it. He fell back asleep til 0615 which is his natural wake up time I think.

Unbelievable night by our standards, I've never had an entire night that I've not had to lift him out of his cot to feed during the night. Usually he goes banzai if I don't pick him up 🤔 But this may not last - he liked being on his side a few weeks ago when I tried it and 2 nights later decided he hated it again and we regressed. But if it can help us get out of the 1-3 hourly comfort feeding rut, I'll embrace it.

He's always been a back sleeper tho, and although he can roll just fine, he hasn't worked out how to do it in his sleep sack in his cot. So I slept on the daybed in his room fixating on his breathing to make sure he was ok.

scottishbride Sun 26-Feb-17 12:01:46

Hi Milli,
Really, really similar situation to you, will write more later, ds is crawling like a mad thimg at present. Sounds like a great start for you, we had a similar night to that on Friday night, lots more wake ups last night unfortunately and I tend to feed after midnight- but probably don't need to!

Millipede170 Sat 25-Feb-17 10:55:32

Is anyone else currently trying this method?

My DS is nearly 10mo and has never had a decent night's sleep in his life. He sleeps and naps in his cot, settles just fine at bedtime but then wakes throughout the night about 5 times on average. I have fallen into the habit of feeding him back to sleep, because it's quick and quiet and after 10 months of pure sleep deprivation (no nannies or grannies, and a DH who works shifts and doesn't get involved in the nighttime routine consistently) I just want to get back to bed.

But DS now believes he needs me to fall back to sleep in the night every time he wakes, so I can't keep hoping that this issue is just going to resolve itself by magic. Plus I am back to work in 2 months, moving house before then, and feel I have to crack this before all that occurs. (I could wait til after all the upheaval but tbh I think that's just delaying things).

Like pretty much everyone on this thread, I still want to be responsive to my baby and don't mind if he's not in the 'sleeping through in 3 nights' category. I started last night...

1st wake up 22.30. Turned him into his side and stroked his hair. Went back to sleep - but the early waking is the only time during the night this will ever work

2nd wake - 01.30. Didn't pick him up. Sat with him, stroked and reassured quietly for about an hour while the tears ramped up and down. At that point he got really distressed so I picked him up, gave him a feed and a cuddle and put him back down awake. Amazingly, no more tears but about 40 mins of shuffling about and then went back to sleep.

3rd wake - 05.50. No hope of resettling at this time so took him into bed with me and let him doze on the boob til wake up time (7am).

The goal is to stop picking him up and feeding him but to sit with him not interfering while he establishes his own little self settling routine. I think last night was an alright start (although we are both ballbagged today - standard 😴).

If anyone else is giving this a go, hop onto the thread for a bit of mutual support.

MYA2016 Sun 27-Nov-16 15:03:25

Just bumping this for anyone that may not be aware of it.
I've still not tried it myself but am now at the point where I think I may have to as 10mo DS never can fall asleep alone

honeyharris Thu 12-May-16 12:29:27

Anyone doing this method with an toddler? I have a 2 year old who won't go to sleep unless you stay in the room with him and rub his back for between 20 mins - over an hour. He wakes a couple of times at night as well and it's the same story.

TheKitchenWitch Sun 08-May-16 19:02:41

We tried this a couple of months ago and it worked really well, but somehow things got a bit out if routine and ds was ill and now we're back to square one sad with hourly wakings etc.
So I'm doing it again. Am in fact right now sitting here next to a screeching shouting baby who is so angry he doesn't know what he wants. But he's almost 13months old now and I have to get some sleep at some point, I'm not functioning any more.
Wish me luck.

MamamamaT Sat 07-May-16 10:17:14

Hi all, found this thread a few weeks ago (thank you OP!) and circumstances finally seem right to try. (Moving around & people coming an going got in the way, plus drumming up the courage of course) I gave it a go last night and it didn't go well. I said to myself I'd give it 2 hours and coincidentally (?) that was the point that my LO became really inconsolable so that was when I ended up bringing him in with me. Any advice? Have I shot myself in the foot and undone those two hours by eventually bringing him in? I'm happy to try again tonight if it's likely to take up to the same amount of time but he was nowhere near dropping off last night - just got more and more worked up which seems so counterproductive sad especially as he'd been so lovely and relaxed before I started, felt as though I was undoing the effect of the bedtime routine. Sorry for long post... Thanks in advance for any response!

Nan0second Mon 18-Apr-16 13:08:03

Hi. Congrats on cracking bedtime!
No real answers as we get random wake ups here still about 3x a week!

How awake is she when she goes into cot? I found things improved for us once she learnt how to go to sleep from wide awake. Basically that meant moving bedtime routine around so milk was not the last thing. So now we do bath, milk, story, sleeping bag, teeth then cot.
That sorted out 50% of wake ups for us! (The rest are usually teeth / allergy related)

Fairy45 Fri 15-Apr-16 08:43:08

Ive done this now she can fall asleep in her cot on her own within 20 mins and with no tears. She is 10 months now. But she still wakes at some point between 12 and 3am not for anything but ive always picked her up, she falls asleep instantly when i pick her up but if i put her back in her cot within 20 mins then we will be up for an hour at least. Last night i decided to do the same as the bed time 1 but she cried real tears for an hour. I so i picked her up and she again fell instantly to sleep. Should i persevere? How come she can do it at bedtime but not in the night?

proudmom135 Mon 11-Apr-16 13:57:24

I need these! Very informative. grin

Nan0second Sun 10-Apr-16 20:10:38


Nan0second Tue 15-Mar-16 22:23:27

We had a similar rapid improvement. Hurrah. Stay strong!

SallyMischievo Tue 15-Mar-16 20:20:38

Thank you for asking! Better than expected, an hour of crying last night but only twenty minutes tonight and not nearly as distressed. I am in shock! The night waking last night was a bit of a disaster though, I ended up feeding her as she was hysterical when DP went to her and offered water. Will try to be strong tonight! :-)

Nan0second Tue 15-Mar-16 16:00:39

Hope you and DH survived ok sally?

SallyMischievo Mon 14-Mar-16 19:40:07

Thank you, Nan0! DP is in the thick of it as I type! He bravely offered to do the first night. Biggest congratulations on your breakthrough!

Nan0second Mon 14-Mar-16 16:14:25

Your call but I wouldn't use either. If you introduce a new sleep prop at bedtime, then you'll have to wean that off. Also it makes middle of the night harder as she won't have actually learned to settle herself.
I wouldn't use a projector either as way too stimulating!
How much night feeding is happening? You may struggle to night wean and stop feeding to sleep simultaneously if she's then hungry in the middle of the night? If it's just a few sucks here and there for settling then obviously that's different to full feeds. If full feeds then you might want to do one thing at a time?
Be strong! You can do this. My DD has slept from 7pm to between 5am and 7am for FOUR nights in a row! I feel amazing smile

SallyMischievo Mon 14-Mar-16 15:42:56

We are about to try this routine tonight with 15 month old DD who has always been breastfed to sleep. I was going to breastfeed her and then put her in the cot awake but feel as though this is just drawing out the process and we should just introduce a cup of milk at bedtime at the same time as starting the sleep training. I phased out all other feeds apart from bedtime and night feeds before Christmas and have really just kept the nighttime ones going as a means of getting her off to sleep and settling her when she wakes. But I have a pressing question! We have always had the harp music setting of Ewan the Dream Sleep on whilst I feed her and she falls asleep on the boob. Should we put this on when I put her in the cot? Also we have bought her a star projector. Have this on or too much of a distraction? Thank you for any advice!

JennyPie33 Sat 12-Mar-16 04:11:47

The best thing that's worked for us with our daughter (toddler) is reading her a bedtime story (called The Kitten Who Wants to Fall Asleep) which has been written using psychological sleep methods. It's an actual story, but hidden in the story are trigger words that psychologists use to relax people and make them feel sleepy. I must admit, whenever I read this book to her I start nodding off myself, but that is probably because I'm on the go all day. Anyway, just reading her the story works like magic and puts her to sleep every time. Seriously!

Nan0second Wed 09-Mar-16 19:35:20

It is hard. DD took 72 very long minutes on the first night. I knew that we had to do it. (I was hallucinating from sleep deprivation).
My husband was totally on board though.
Honestly, please keep going if you can.
Sending a huge huge hug xxx

tiredybear Wed 09-Mar-16 14:20:17

oh no, so sorry to hear it's not going well. Don't give up! You WILL get sleep again.
I've been on here a bit about my LO who was always a terrible sleeper. Now he's actually starting to sleep better, which I never thought would happen. It's always been two steps fwd one step back though.

Did you change the time and where you fed her, as well as trying this idea? If so, maybe it was too many changes at once? Can anyone else give you a hand? I totally get the anger and it really helps if my OH can come in and take over for a bit....

Purpleboa Tue 08-Mar-16 21:16:56

Well, think this is a solution only for the very strong (and the not tired!) Disaster here. DD is screaming and I mean inconsolable. I have already flipped out and shouted at her. I can't do this. I cannot do this. I can't imagine lasting 45 minutes!!

Back to the fucking drawing board...and grim acceptance that I am never going to get any sleep or a night to myself again, and it's all my own fault.

Nan0second Tue 08-Mar-16 15:56:33

Perfect. The main thing is to have a plan!

Purpleboa Tue 08-Mar-16 11:07:06

Thanks for the quick response Nano!

Eek ok! Kinda scared to start! Right now we do co sleeping as part of the night so we are getting a bit of sleep. I know that doing it this way is going to require a lot of energy which I really don't have. Not sure how to get around that.

More practically, I have a busy week planned so I don't think it's the best time. Also want to go through it with DH so he's on board as it will be disruptive to us both. Going to move towards it then start properly after I'm back from my parents. From what I've read here, consistency is key, and I just won't be able to guarantee that for the next ten days.

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